Gun control advocates are being “honest about where they are … for the first time” on repealing the Second Amendment after retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens wrote in a New York Times op-ed that he favors repeal, according to National Rifle Association (NRA) spokeswoman Dana Loesch.
“I think for the first time that we’re finally starting to see anti-gun advocates be honest about where they are on this issue,” Loesch said Thursday on Fox News’ “Fox & Friends” morning show. “Whenever they sit here and they talk about the AR-15, we know that that’s a stand-in for all semi-automatic firearms.”
“We see this over and over. And we’re always told, ‘Well, we don’t want to take your guns,’ but yet that is what you’re writing,” Loesch continued. “You’re writing actual editorials in nationally distributed publications where you’re talking about repealing the Second Amendment.”
Stevens sparked widespread comment with his op-ed urging pro-gun control protesters to “seek more effective and more lasting reform” and “demand a repeal of the Second Amendment.”
Stevens wrote the op-ed three days after Parkland shooting survivors and other anti-gun protesters descended upon Washington, D.C., and other cities across the country for the March for Our Lives. Although many of the protesters insist that they only want to see “common-sense” gun reform, Stevens’ explicit call to repeal the Second Amendment went far beyond that.
Taking away law-abiding citizens’ guns is “exactly what they want,” Loesch said, noting that many anti-gun advocates “just stop short of actually articulating it because they know it doesn’t poll well.”
Loesch also said that it’s time for every lawmaker to go on the record and “let Americans know where they stand on their right to self-defense” by owning firearms.
Sen Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) called for lawmakers to take an official stand on the issue in a tweet Wednesday, saying, “Former Justice Stevens’ push to repeal the #SecondAmendment is a nightmare for @TheDemocrats Party. Will the mainstream media ask Dem elected officials if they agree?”
Will the mainstream media ask Dem elected officials if they agree? pic.twitter.com/NVSl65Etf8
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) March 28, 2018
Loesch concurred, saying, “Graham’s right, get on record. Where do you stand?”
“I think that all politicians should let Americans know where they stand on their right to self-defense,” Loesch said. “And I found retired Justice Stevens’ op-ed incredibly interesting, because in addition to calling for the repeal of the Second Amendment, he did so as a way to restrict speech because law-abiding Americans were just too good at speaking up in defense of their Second Amendment rights.”
“So that struck me as incredibly odd from someone [who], you know, used to interpret … and obviously write decisions on the Constitution,” Loesch continued. “So it’s just very odd for him to write that op-ed, and it seemed to really kind of undermine any defense that he would have ever in standing up for free speech.”
Ultimately, such rhetoric from Stevens and the Left only helps conservatives’ and President Donald Trump’s agenda, Loesch argued.
“It’s one of the reasons … former President [Barack] Obama was the best seller of firearms than I think anybody before him or after him,” Loesch said. “Whenever you talk about restricting people’s rights, it makes people nervous.”
Although many liberals focus on the pro-gun control aspect of the national conversation after each mass shooting, many Second Amendment advocates urge the nation to consider other aspects, such as mental health reform and law enforcement failures.
A study released Thursday from the Secret Service’s National Threat Assessment Center found that more than three-quarters of mass attack assailants ranging from the Orlando nightclub shooting to the Las Vegas massacre, which claimed nearly 150 lives, engaged in behavior that raised suspicions prior to the attacks.
The report also found that 64 percent of the suspects involved in 43 attacks on federal officials or facilities between 2001 and 2013 suffered from mental health issues or symptoms.
Many GOP lawmakers called for mental health reform after the Parkland shooting to prevent firearms from getting into the hands of mentally unstable individuals who could commit mass shootings, focusing on those issues instead of preventing law-abiding and mentally stable Americans from owning firearms.
But Stevens and others remained unconvinced.
“Overturning [the District of Columbia v. Heller] decision via a constitutional amendment to get rid of the Second Amendment would be simple and would do more to weaken the NRA’s ability to stymie legislative debate and block constructive gun control legislation than any other available option,” Stevens wrote.
“That simple but dramatic action would move Saturday’s marchers closer to their objective than any other possible reform,” the retired justice said.